We cannot fight the winds. There are too many of them and too few of us. And our weapons are paltry. Just yesterday, we lost fifty of my best men to the winds. They ripped their catchers from them and threw them from the tower tops. I saw them fall. I saw their broken bodies.

I hear the winds when they’re not there. I think they’re in me. I see silent skies and hear them roar. I see unmoving trees and I feel them rage. When I sleep, I dream in gales. I don’t know myself in the mirror. I recite words for winds, all the ones there are – I mutter them, and my men eye me like a lurking gust. I know they talk about shutting me out of the fortress. I heard them yesterday. Someone said – let him go to the winds. My hands shook on the maps and I pretended not to hear.

The watchers tell me the paths the winds are taking. I mark the fallen cities on the maps. My soldiers mourn. But I don’t cry with them. When everybody is asleep, I climb the highest tower, high enough to see the distant winds. And when I see them, I urge them on.

I wait for cities to shatter. I wait for the forests to be blown to dust. I feel gales moving in the far-off lands. I wait for the world to be winds.


Rebecca Harrison sneezes like Donald Duck and her best friend is a dog who can count.